At Bel Air Autobody we’ve talked a bit before about the kinds of sleazy body shops that try to scam their customers. They are the ones who would sell something like the counterfeit airbags that were exposed last year. However, the reality is that the customers who are most often targeted by body shop scammers are women. Because the autobody industry is heavily dominated by men, it is often assumed that women lack basic knowledge about cars.
This, of course, is absolutely untrue. Many women know plenty about cars, just as many men don’t know a thing about cars. It is a lame gender stereotype that should be disregarded.
No customer ever deserves to be taken advantage of. To prevent this from happening to you, take a look at our list of lies to watch out for:
They’ll tell you that you need parts replaced that don’t actually need to be replaced.
This is perhaps the easiest way that a body shop could take advantage of you. To prevent it from happening to you, ask the mechanic to point out exactly what needs to be replaced and why. If you get the feeling that you’re being scammed, trust your gut and take your car somewhere else for a second opinion. It is important that the shop you choose feels trustworthy to you.
They’ll say they replaced certain parts that they didn’t.
This is sometimes harder to get away with in the collision repair business, since it is often obvious when a panel or bumper has been completely replaced. Sometimes it’s not so obvious, however, so a sleazy mechanic will charge you for a replacement on parts, while not doing anything at all. You can protect yourself from this scam by asking for the old parts back or you can request to see the replaced part in order to do a visual comparison. Just let them know ahead of time so that they will retain the replaced part and not trash it.
They’ll say they used factory parts, when they really used aftermarket parts.
This is a really tough scam to spot—even for the experts in the business. One way to prevent yourself from being taken advantage of is to ask for a guarantee in writing that the parts used are Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM).
They’ll claim that something costs more than it should.
Once again, the best way to combat this scam is to get a second opinion. Make sure you ask for an itemized estimate so that you can also do research online. The web can be a great resource for pricing out both parts and labor for common collision repairs.
If you’re looking for a trustworthy auto repair shop in Harford County, Maryland, then give Bel Air Autobody a call. Our mission is to provide our customers with quality workmanship, first class customer service, and a timely repair. Our ethical, professional, and honest business practices have allowed us to remain a leading shop for our Bel Air neighbors for over 20 years.